Thursday, June 6, 2013
I quote the final paragraph here, but please do read the whole. And then take some time to leaf through Cleaver, one of the most exciting new additions to the literary scene in a very long time.
Dr. Radway’s Sarsaparilla Resolvent includes illustrations by William Sulit, Kephart’s husband, that are a great addition. The novel’s target audience is young adult (I can imagine it being read in a classroom) but is enjoyable for older readers also. William buys the potion of the novel’s title, one of several such colorfully named elixirs he sees advertised in the Ledger. It’s a sham that might work its magic for William simply because of the strength of his desire. He wants, most of all, for it to help his mother. I liked the pile up of historical artifacts and scenes, I liked the sounds of the names of things Kephart brought into her story—“the flangers, fitters, riveters, carters, chippers, caulkers coming in” and so on—that give this story that begins in a hard scrabble moment in a boy’s life in old Bush Hill a feeling of abundance.